High: 68°Summer arrived this weekend, and we decided to celebrate by attending a historic boat launch in our equally-historic neighboring town of Belfast. The occasion was the rechristening of three Buzzard Bay 30 sailboats. These boats, originally built as a small fleet of racing sailers in 1902, underwent a massive, 3-year, multi-million dollar overhaul led by nautical historians and boat-builders.
Conditions: Partly cloudy with gusty wind and sea fog
Greg, Ari, and I met up with our friends Candace and Dennis for the event. Candace is a freelance photographer who also runs a fantastic dog walking business called Boneheads (You can visit her website here). She’s also the author of a fabulous blog detailing her victory over Hodgkins Lymphoma called "Hodge Podge." Dennis, her soon-to-be-husband, is a true salty sailor who has crewed on tall ships, including the very beautiful Angelique, where he served as first mate (and where I first met Dennis and Candace while writing a travel article on the windjammer industry). Dennis was one of the wooden boat carpenters who restored the three boats, so this was an exciting day for him.
It was also a great day for the caninaturalist. Even though Dennis and Candace’s dog, Sadie, had to stay home that day, there were plenty of other dogs for the caninaturalist to meet, like this Jack Russell terrier, who was too busy watching the boats to pose for a picture (or maybe he's just a graduate of Stormy's Posing School?)
The beach plums (Prunus maritima var. maritima.) are finally in bloom, and they filled the scene both with their garish color and classic summer scent, which even Ari (who usually prefers the smell of rotting snake carcass) seemed to appreciate:
The real highlight of the day, however, was watching the boats return to the sea after generations away.
Once they were christened, the boats were launched along with their owners and many of the carpenters and builders who have spent the past several years restoring them. A bagpiper added harmonic gravity to the scene:
On Thursday, they'll undergo their first sea-test under full sail. In the meantime, the crews took all three out for a few quick turns around the harbor before docking for the night.
Ari wasn't nearly as excited as we were to hear about the sea-test, but she was plenty thrilled when the humans decided to celebrate the day with ice cream, which meant that she got more than her fair share of ooey-gooey cone.
I don't know if it was the resulting blood sugar from the ice cream, or all the excitement of the day, but the caninaturalist fell asleep the minute we made our way back to the car. In fact, we even had to wake her up to get her up to bed at the end of the night. That, in our opinion, is a sure-fire sign of a great day.